Aspire X-QPack: A Lanparty Dream

by Joshua Buss on 7/2/2005 1:15 PM EST
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  • dderidex - Thursday, July 21, 2005 - link

    Came across this and was wondering on this one...

    Anyone know if a 7800GTX can *fit* inside it? I know that was a problem with a lot of the Shuttle boxes.
    Reply
  • jndietz - Tuesday, August 16, 2005 - link

    I barely fit my 6800 GT in my X-Qpack. Granted, I had to put the card in while the motherboard tray was half in, half out, I did get it in. You would probably have an even harder time getting the 7 series in there. Great case though, power supply is a lot more solid than people believe it to be. I've got juice going to my DVD+/-RW, 36GB Raptor, 200GB Hitatchi, floppy, BFG 6800 GT. Great case, great buy. Reply
  • Gioron - Saturday, July 09, 2005 - link

    "Power Supply Spec.
    +3.3V +5V +12V -12V -5V +5VSB
    20A 25A 20A 0.8A 0.3A 2.0A "
    66W 125W 240W 9.6W 1.5W 10W
    Straight addition of the watts on the +3.3, +5 and +12 volt rails makes for 431 watts. With the incidentals added in its around 450W. There's no way this thing can actually give 420W total at any one time. Definately a dodgy power supply since the straight addition is too close to the specs. I'd guess its more along the lines of a 350W power supply, and I consider the fact that they're lying as a bad sign for reliability.

    However, that being said. You're not likely to ask this thing to put out 420W, especially on a small case like this. Its probably a servicable power supply if you only ask for 300W from it, and thats what most people need. I'd rather they didn't lie about the specs, but thats all too common recently.
    Reply
  • Jynx980 - Friday, July 08, 2005 - link

    That carpet makes me want to ralph. Put it on a table or something. Reply
  • stromgald - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    Although I haven't done or seen a comparison between the Aria and the X-qpack, from this review and reviews of the Aria, I think that the Aria can be quieter but generally runs hotter. The Aria is slightly smaller and also has a custom strangely shaped 300W PSU that probably cannot be swapped out. Some users have also complained that the Aria PSU ramps up pretty loud under heavy load. But that may be compensated by the special double aluminum/plastic case material which dampens sound very well. I found an old review of the Aria which reports 50ºC idle and 65º under load. Reply
  • leousb - Wednesday, July 06, 2005 - link

    Has Anand released any mATX MoBo review (shootout)?? Thx (links appreciated) Reply
  • SonicIce - Tuesday, July 05, 2005 - link

    1st!!!!!!!! wait aw man :( Reply
  • ElFenix - Tuesday, July 05, 2005 - link

    all that cable clutter really makes one wish it came with a set of cables.

    anyone else think case windows are getting played out?
    Reply
  • JNo - Tuesday, July 05, 2005 - link

    I agree on needing to know more about what microATX boards are out there, which was one thing that made the Aria uninteresting when it came out (no NF3 mATX boards existed so what was the point if you wanted decent A64 setup?). That's the major drawback in fact - even if the Foxconn is a decent mATX NF4 board now, when the next socket type comes out, owners of this and Aria will be probably be waiting 6+ months before they can upgrade - how frustrating.... Reply
  • IronChefMoto - Tuesday, July 05, 2005 - link

    Commenting on mATX motherboards -- it would be nice to know if and when Socket 939 mATX motherboards are going to become a wee bit more abundant. Or are manufacturers holding off on mATX models in anticipation of changing socket setups next year?

    If I wanted to build an mATX setup with the Socket 754 processor I have now, I'd be fine. If I wanted to go to Socket 939, however, I'd be hard pressed to find a decent selection of Socket 939 motherboards.

    IronChefMorimoto
    Reply
  • R3MF - Tuesday, July 05, 2005 - link

    #52 -
    "I second (or third or fourth or whatever) the call for some words of comparison to the Antec Aria (it's the only other mATX standard cube case, right?); I can see this offers more bays and a bigger power supply, but what else?"

    add the Silverstone SG01 to that comparison too.

    and have a part two article looking at high-end mATX motherboards.

    that would be ace!
    Reply
  • Noriaki - Tuesday, July 05, 2005 - link

    Hey is the 420W PSU that comes with this case 20pin or 24pin main connector? And I know it matters less, but does it have the 6pin PCIe connector? Reply
  • sprockkets - Monday, July 04, 2005 - link

    FSP or Fortron Source Power and it's varients are one of the best. Reply
  • johnsonx - Monday, July 04, 2005 - link

    I second (or third or fourth or whatever) the call for some words of comparison to the Antec Aria (it's the only other mATX standard cube case, right?); I can see this offers more bays and a bigger power supply, but what else?

    Also, for everyone talking about the power supply not being standard, I don't think anything prevents you from installing a normal depth ATX power supply, as long as your optical drives are not overly long; most of the newer optical drives are pretty short.

    Finally, I do agree about the window. Couldn't they offer a windowsless variant? Cases with windows are just toys to me.
    Reply
  • IronChefMoto - Monday, July 04, 2005 - link

    I'm not real happy that it has a non-standard PSU -- one of the things that worries me about long-term ownership of my Shuttle SN85G4V3 XPC. The advantage with a DIY mATX box like this SHOULD BE the replaceability of parts. Of course, Antec screwed themselves in the ass with their proprietary Aria PSU in the same way.

    I'm also not keen on the windows. Windows are nice on a large tower where you can clean up your case (when you have the room too). Windows on something like this is akin to showing off a really unkempt closet full of pack rat stuff.

    Nice review, by the way. Would love to see a comparison if and when the Antec Aria II comes out.
    Reply
  • Pannenkoek - Monday, July 04, 2005 - link

    [OT] Thanks Kristopher, I missed those comments. Odd that that would be possible, but I appreciate the protection of their sources by editors in any case. Reply
  • R3MF - Monday, July 04, 2005 - link

    [edit]

    with the price difference i could even afford to stick the SST VFD panel in the spare 5.25" bay for use in a HTPC!

    [/edit]
    Reply
  • R3MF - Monday, July 04, 2005 - link

    @ 44 (re: SST SG01) -

    i agree that SST cases are overpriced, but it is very affordable compared to a shuttle.

    my SN25P cost me £285

    by comparison:
    SG01 = £100 (or thereabouts)
    NF4 mATX M/B = £60 (tho i would pay more for a better baord)
    400W Akasa ATX2.01 PSU = £40 (yeah, sure i need more, not)
    Via ENVY PCI soundcard = £25
    TOTAL = £225

    looks pretty affordable to me.:)

    i only wish there were some high-end mATX motherboards to put in it. i repeat; come on MSI/Abit/DFI/Asus, show us what you can do.......
    Reply
  • Tujan - Monday, July 04, 2005 - link

    Dont know if that was a positive on a different full size power supply. Or the same positive for a full size DVD player.

    Too Im not fully convinced of the carrying copacity used from the handle of this m-ATX case.

    I think that this case however has been the best looking m-atx alternative out there for a few months running. Everytime I look at Newegg.com they are sold out of them.

    If used one of those ATX 2.0 w detachable wiring would be a super setup.

    Surprising other m-atx manufacturers don't have something like this on a melt already. There are several M-ATX Intel that can run dual-core with this case.Hard to find on the web though. Certainly the m-atx AMDs would go well with it.

    Would get one to carry it around.Looks really good,. Nothing beats its value cost. I would trade out the power supply for one I listed,if it fit.

    All sorts of colors too.


    Reply
  • Tujan - Monday, July 04, 2005 - link

    Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Monday, July 04, 2005 - link

    Zepper: The fragbox is Falcon NW, not Alienware. It's based on a design from FIC as far as I know.

    Kristopher
    Reply
  • Zepper - Monday, July 04, 2005 - link

    The Aspire X-QPack is a variant of the Chenming 118 which I like better than the QPack as you can get it w/o any windows or with just one. It also has an interesting PSU in the Enermax 270W SFX mode - only 300W but 20A available on the +12V rail in a pinch. It's between that and the Enermax Venus series for my mATX builds. The supplied PSU should work well in most systems - but perhaps not in the freakazoid ones that many AT denizens seem to favor ;-) .

    A bit more FYI: Sony=LiteOn they are "technology partners" on optical drives as are NEC-Pioneer-Asus, Plextor-Sanyo, Hitachi-LGE (Goldstar), Toshiba-Samsung, Ricoh-AOpen and Philips-BenQ.


    #21 - Well then, it must be great that this case is micro ATX - the wave of the future... [rolling eyes]

    #28 - Micro-BTX - yes another doomed Intel "innovation". Putting the slots on the right and the PSU on the left - BFD. Anyhoo, newegg carries a couple of micro-BTX cases perhaps mobos too.

    #38 - The Silverstone sg01 is supposed to be based on the Alienware Fragbox which SST designed for Alienware. And it's just as overpriced ~$200 sans PSU. Sorry Charlie...

    #41 - It's not a PS/3 it's just a bit shorter than a normal ATX (the PS/3 is A LOT shorter than standard) - I believe the form factor is called "mini-ATX"

    #42 - It can hold a standard size ATX PSU but you should probably use a short chassis optical drive (as mentioned above) if you do go that route. In fact, the short chassis drives fit best in most mATX cases. There are other short chassis drives besides the LiteOn based ones.

    .bh.
    Reply
  • Tamale - Monday, July 04, 2005 - link

    in response to #40..

    my test unit was extremely sturdy.. I didn't find the back to be flimsy at all

    as far as all the harsh comments against the 420 watt power supply, I'd just like to remind you all that lots and lots of people are still using generic power supplies rated for much less than 420 watts... if people are getting by fine with power supplies like that, I'm pretty certain a 420 watt from aspire would serve you fine for just about everything you could cram in a computer this small

    I'll be taking a closer examination of all these power supplies as soon as I can...
    Reply
  • yacoub - Monday, July 04, 2005 - link

    Irrelevant. If it can't fit a real PSU made by a reputable name (Antec, Seasonic, or maybe Enermax), forget it. Reply
  • sprockkets - Sunday, July 03, 2005 - link

    That power supply appears to be a ps3 form factor. Like others said, if this is true, it's a full size atx power supply with low depth. They exisit, but are not popular. FSP makes a 250w model for $30. 420w is stretching it a bit as to what that thing can put out, but whatever. Reply
  • mindless1 - Sunday, July 03, 2005 - link

    I disagree about it being sturdy, the back in particular is necessarily flismy.

    Aspire is not a name to trust in power supplies either, this looks like another liability.

    I like the front bezel though and the general concept. If this were made in thicker aluminum and without power supply (or a Delta), I'd buy it.
    Reply
  • yacoub - Sunday, July 03, 2005 - link

    Well, let's see:

    *Be able to fit a full-size ATX PSU.
    *Get rid of the stupid lights/lighting.
    *Enough room to fit at least an XP-90 HSF setup

    Then I'd probably buy one.
    Reply
  • R3MF - Sunday, July 03, 2005 - link

    if you want a pretty mATX case then what you really want is this:
    http://www.silverstonetek.com/products-sg01.htm

    it would be a tempting prospect for me had i not just bought a shuttle.

    there are some okay nForce4 s939 boards available in mATX, but a manufacturer needs to make a high-end nForce4 Ultra/SLI mATX board.

    come on MSI...............
    Reply
  • sprockkets - Saturday, August 06, 2005 - link

    $188 for the case at newegg.com, that's like shuttle xpc expensive. Reply
  • Questioner - Sunday, July 03, 2005 - link

    For people who want to know what AMD mATX boards that are avaiable go to Newegg and choose socket 939 then mATX and it will show about 5 boards 1 being the Foxconn NF4 and the rest is Radeon Express boards, 1 from MSI, 1 from ECS, 2 from Jetway the only difference being that one has video memory on the motherboard, but the Jetways are from what I heard are very overclockable. The MSI and ECS board are the same except for different bios tweaks and the ECS is more overclock able than the MSI. For 754 boards there are 15 of them but they are only VIA and SIS chipset boards. Reply
  • Questioner - Sunday, July 03, 2005 - link

    I have this case with the MSI Radeon Xpress 200 MB with an AMD64 (Venice)3200+, 4 sticks of Geil 512MB PC3200(With Blue heatsinks)ATI 550 Pro TV Tuner card, VIA Vinyl Sound card, 2 Plextor SATA DVD/DVDRW drives, 2 Segate 120GB SATA drives,Mitsume 3.5 floppy drive with built in smart card reader,Gigabyte cpu cooler with blue led fan, blue led SATA power connectors, UV SATA drive cables,Logitech MX 1000 laser mouse, Logisys lighted blue keyboard and Sceptre 19" LCD 12ms. The question about can full sized power supplies be used is yes, only if you use Liteon or Sony optical drives because they are shorter than the other drives. This case is great it is very quiet and cool the motherboard lacks any overclocking options but I was able to push it to 2.2gHz with a software tweak and it was stable and I didn't need any other voltage tweaks to do it. If any one wants pictures of my system I would be glad to show it if I knew how to post pictures on Anandtech, plus my system is alot neater than what the Anand's reveiw looks like because I have alot less cable clutter than Anand's, plus I did a little cable modding to make it look better. Reply
  • at80eighty - Sunday, July 03, 2005 - link

    #30 , did you even read my disclaimer?

    thanx for the answers though :p
    Reply
  • bbomb - Sunday, July 03, 2005 - link

    How does this case compare to an Antec Aria? Its a pity they didnt compare the two as they are very similiar looking from the outside.
    Reply
  • IPSecGuy - Sunday, July 03, 2005 - link

    Great review - thanks for the in depth info.

    Just a couple of (hopefully) quick questions;

    1 - What MicroATX mobo's would you recommend for this case? I have looked at some Intel 915 foxconn and ASUS mobo's and have also looked at some AMD 939 based MicroATX boards. AMD vs Intel aside, which would be your top pick from each camp? (btw - haven't seen one with SATA-II support, so if you are aware of one let me know)

    2 - Assuming that selecting a mATX board with pci-x16 is a given, do you think the PSU included with this case would support a vid-card such as a nVidia 6800GT/Ultra or the newer 7800GTX?

    Thanks for your time!
    Reply
  • deathwalker - Sunday, July 03, 2005 - link

    Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Sunday, July 03, 2005 - link

    Olaf van der Spek: Aren't there like four MicroBTX boards on the whole market? And aren't two of them based on 915G? I'll pass.

    Kristopher
    Reply
  • Gholam - Sunday, July 03, 2005 - link

    #29, did you even read the article? This is a case, not an SFF barebone system. It has nothing to do with SATA or SLI. It will accept pretty much any mATX motherboard, which DFI LanParty isn't. Abit is rumored to have a mATX SLI board in the works, but nobody has seen it yet. The PSU can be replaced, but the space is tight, and you'll have to use a short 5.25" drive to leave enough room for it, and fitting a long PSU such as Antec Phantom is out of the question. Reply
  • at80eighty - Sunday, July 03, 2005 - link

    utter n00b questions :-

    1) SATA 2 supported?
    2) SLI - capable?
    3) Can a mobo like the DFI LanParty fit in this case?
    4) Can the PSU be replaced with something like a Antec Neopower?


    Appreciate any help :)
    Reply
  • Olaf van der Spek - Sunday, July 03, 2005 - link

    #25: MicroBTX? Reply
  • vfxraven19 - Sunday, July 03, 2005 - link

    I bought this case and love it! I think this is better than the Antec Aria, but the Aria is still a nice case... Reply
  • SilthDraeth - Sunday, July 03, 2005 - link

    In response to my above post, I simply mean to convey that if this case does well at heat disipation, and providing a well designed, thoughtful case for the microATX formfacter, then the only disadvanage you could say it has compared to say a microBTX or any other small form factor design, would be the inability to support those motherboards. In all things buy what works best for you. Reply
  • SilthDraeth - Saturday, July 02, 2005 - link

    Anyone that reads Porkster's comments knows he is anti AMD. But Porkster, if not micro atx, then what form factor? Reply
  • slashbinslashbash - Saturday, July 02, 2005 - link

    I agree, great review. I too have been thinking about building a SFF PC, and this case adds a lot of options. I especially like that it can handle extra PCI slots and 2 optical drives. The handle is pretty cool too :) Reply
  • Tamale - Saturday, July 02, 2005 - link

    I dunno man.. with cases this well designed and intel under so much fire I think atx is here for a long time yet to come Reply
  • NordicNINE - Saturday, July 02, 2005 - link

    #20, I was thinking of using that board for a Media Center PC since it has a DX9 video onboard.
    I had one earlier for a client and played with it a bit before hand. Plenty for a HTPC (MCE2k5) machine.
    I wish it had a DVI port though since I want to get a DLP TV later this year.
    Reply
  • porkster - Saturday, July 02, 2005 - link

    Pity it's ATX. It's a bit late int he day to be making ATX cases.

    .
    Reply
  • kaborka - Saturday, July 02, 2005 - link

    I've had my eye on the MSI microATX board with the RS480 chipset for building a HTPC. It has the onboard Radeon graphics + it's socket 939. This looks like it might be just the box for it. (Dunno if this board has 1000MHz HT, though.) Reply
  • NordicNINE - Saturday, July 02, 2005 - link

    I was just going to buy this case.

    I hope this review doesn't make it harder to find. :)
    Reply
  • Noriaki - Saturday, July 02, 2005 - link

    Hey, great timing. I've been thinking about shunting my current machine as is over to a Linux box and building a brand new gaming rig. My Athlon XP2100+ is a little slow these days ;)

    And I would love for it to be a nice compact case for LANing. This article couldn't be better timed.

    Are there any MicroATX boards that support 1000Mhz HyperTransport and the dual core Athlon 64s? I understand Via's chipset is a bit sketchy on A64x2s, and the K8M800 is 800 HT only I believe.
    Reply
  • Tamale - Saturday, July 02, 2005 - link

    lot of good questions here... I'll try to answer as many as possible..

    first off, yes, I wish I could've put in a more detailed review of the power supply itself - I'm currently working on getting a testbed that would be much more stressful to see how power supplies will stand up to it.

    as far as dimensions, stromgald is right that it has the right mounting hole positions but that it's just shallower.. if you had a particularly shallow optical drive and/or were careful with the cables you could probably use a normal PSU.

    I did have two hard drives installed at the end.. the seagate (sata) is behind the western digital (pata).. this was my attempt at putting as much of a load on the power supply as I could and seeing how the case handled the extra heat.

    my comment about the excess cable clutter was simply an attempt to say that if our motherboard had the headers for extra usb/firewire cables I could've routed those cables to the appropriate places on the mobo instead of just cramming them up front.

    I hope to get a system for testing power supplies in a much more informational manner very soon.

    Reply
  • stromgald - Saturday, July 02, 2005 - link

    The dimensions of the included PSU are unique, but there does seem to be some space between the PSU and the installed DVD burner. The height and widths are the same as a standard ATX according to the article so the screw holes are probably in the same place, but the depth may be a problem. I think that's what #11 was asking, and I'm wondering the same thing. I've been looking to build a new mATX computer, and have been looking at the Aspire and its OEM version, the Chenming 118 (has a 300W PSU and is less flashy) for awhile. Great review, the article and the nice pictures will help alot if I use this case for my next build. Reply
  • Olaf van der Spek - Saturday, July 02, 2005 - link

    It's also a shame it doesn't have independent cover parts, which makes me think of those old minitowers where takes of the cover was almost a disaster. Reply
  • Olaf van der Spek - Saturday, July 02, 2005 - link

    > We should note how if our motherboard had supported external USB and Firewire connections, some of that cable clutter would be greatly reduced.

    What exactly are external USB and Firewire connections?
    Reply
  • Spacecomber - Saturday, July 02, 2005 - link

    From the Aspire website:

    Power Supply ATX 420W power supply
    -High-gloss mirror finish
    -1*80mm built-in UV blue LED fan
    -Wire management:all wires are sleeved
    -Size:116 x 149 x 87 mm

    Power Supply Spec.
    +3.3V +5V +12V -12V -5V +5VSB
    20A 25A 20A 0.8A 0.3A 2.0A
    (They don't list the 3.3v+5v combined power rating. Just that the maximum is 420w.)

    Power Supply Connectors
    1 x 20pin Main Power
    1 x 12V (P4)
    4 x Peripheral
    1 x Floppy
    1 x SATA

    Those dimensions seem a bit unique; it certainly isn't a standard full-size power supply.

    Space
    Reply
  • Cygni - Saturday, July 02, 2005 - link

    I agree, the PSU is the question. At $90 WITH a 420wt PSU, it sounds like a really really good deal.. but i get the feeling its not exactly a true 420.

    BTW, i noticed the HD thing too. In one view we clearly see the PATA cables, and from the other side, i see orange SATA cables running up, haha. :D
    Reply
  • RaNDoMMAI - Saturday, July 02, 2005 - link

    Can you put a normal PSU in? Reply
  • Spacecomber - Saturday, July 02, 2005 - link

    I like this review, but I have to agree with #9 -- we need more information on the power supply. How does it stack up against good quality power supplies in terms of amps per rail? Are there two 12v rails? Does it come with a 24 pin main power connector and with the new square 4 pin video card connectors? Is it of standard dimensions? What options would there be for changing it out, if you feel this one is not adequate?

    Basically, I hate to pay the extra cost of getting a power supply and a case when it turns out that the power supply is a low quality generic model which I'll have to replace.

    Space
    Reply
  • JustAnAverageGuy - Saturday, July 02, 2005 - link

    What were the amps (5V, 12V, etc) on the 420W power supply?

    One oddity.

    In all of the pictures it shows a Western Digital hard drive. It states you used a Seagate on page 8 though.
    Reply
  • DarkKnight - Saturday, July 02, 2005 - link

    great review, case looks awesome. I wish this case had come out before I bought my aria :(. Had to mod the hell of out it to get acceptable temps. Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Saturday, July 02, 2005 - link

    Pannenkoek: Look in the comments section of the Sun article.

    Kristopher
    Reply
  • Pannenkoek - Saturday, July 02, 2005 - link

    [OT] Can anyone from Anandtech explain what happened to both the game console performance speculation article and Anand's blog entry on the same subject? Called by a lawyer? Reply
  • Sunbird - Saturday, July 02, 2005 - link

    I would really love a SFF case that is just plain black, but with a nice handle on top to carry it with.... then I'd just need a monitor with a handle too! Reply
  • Cookie Crusher - Saturday, July 02, 2005 - link

    The nice thing about the case is the little bit of extra room it provides. It could really be a case modders dream in the sense that a water cooling system is possible. I think it's probably a worthwhile tradeoff that this case is slightly larger than a traditional SFF case like a shuttle. Nice review, I'll be taking a closer look at this case because of it. Reply
  • Tamale - Saturday, July 02, 2005 - link

    yeah getting this review online was a little bit messy.. haha.. I think it's ok now

    and I have to agree with you guys.. this little thing is sweet
    Reply
  • hoppa - Saturday, July 02, 2005 - link

    Ah, finally, a review of a nice-looking case on AT. And, I must admit, a very, *very* nice case at that. Long gone are the days of the 102 dB "2XTREME SPIDER ILLUMOCHASSIS ZINC-COBALT FUSION SUPERDESTRUCTO CASE FORM HELL"

    Joshua, the image for the sound benchmark is blank.

    -andy
    Reply
  • Rapsven - Saturday, July 02, 2005 - link

    Seems like a good buy. Reply

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